Tunisian police arrest and humiliate trans youth

Tunisian police arrested, beat and humiliated a transgender youth last week, according to  Tunisian news coverage and Shams, the local LGBTI advocacy organization.

Shams reported on Facebook:

Logo de Shams
Shams logo

On Oct. 31, police in Hammamet North stopped a car carrying four people returning from a Halloween party, including one young trans woman. On finding the man dressed as a woman, more than four police officers beat the man violently in the street.

They then took him to the Wed Baten police station where he was tortured and told to admit that he is gay.

The trans woman, age 19, was held in custody at the Nabeul District police station .

Shams denounced the arrest and the torture that followed, recalling that Article 226 bis of the Penal Code allows the police to serve as a judge of public morality and to persecute transgender and homosexual activity.


The Tunisian news outlet Tuniscope reported:

Arrest and humiliation of a transsexual in Hammamet

Map of Tunisia shows  Hammamet on the northeast coast of the country. (Map courtesy of  worldaccomodation.com)
Map of Tunisia shows Hammamet on the northeast coast of the country. (Map courtesy of worldaccomodation.com)

…  Insults and homophobic taunts were hurled against two young people [Nov. 1] in Hammamet North police station, according to a witness who said he was physically assaulted and forced to sign a statement without reading it.

A second young person, a 19-year-old trans woman, was harassed and beaten there by police, then was interrogated without any clear explanation, the witness said.

The association Shams issued a statement denouncing the arrest [of the trans woman], recalling that “Article 226 bis of the Penal Code allows the police has to be the judge of public morality and to persecute transsexual and homosexual displays.

Update: Reasons for the arrest were communicated to us by a source close to the young person who was arrested. They were: indecent behavior, drunkenness and rowdiness. The arrestee was transferred to the Grombalia district court and the prosecutor’s office there.

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    Written by Colin Stewart

    Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, Erasing 76 Crimes. Contact him at info@76crimes.com.

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